Happy Thanksgiving y'all! Although I'm sure we'll all be watching lots of gridiron action tomorrow, I do hope you take time to count your blessings and hug your loved ones.
On to the picks.
The Patriots come to the Linc to take on the Eagles this week. Even when we all thought that Vince Young's "Dream Team" comment might have some validity, I had this one circled as a loss. And the Eagles have stunk at home this year. And Vick's still sidelined. I've never forgiven the Pats for Super Bowl 39. And I never will. Cheaters. This weekend's going to give me another reason to hate them.
In the rest of the matchups:
Packers at Lions: Lions. Wait! Don't leave! Hear me out. I don't think the Packers will go undefeated -- it's just too damn hard, no matter how amazing Aaron Rodgers is (how amazing? REALLY, REALLY amazing). Which means, aside from wrapping up the division early and resting guys, the most likely loss would be to a division rival, since we all know things can get wacky in divisional games. They have the Bears and Lions again to end the season, but both are at Lambeau. And with the loss of Cutler, the Bears are in trouble. The Packers one weakness is defense. They win by outscoring the hell out of the other team. But the Lions can put up points, too, and I just have a good feeling about them.
Dolphins at Cowboys: That's a nice little 3-game winning streak the Fins have going there, but unless the Cowboys inexplicably melt down (always a possibility) I just don't see them getting by. Cowboys.
49ers at Ravens: I'm doing it. I'm going west in the Harbaugh v. Harbaugh battle. 49ers. Even if David Akers has to score all their points for them.
Texans at Jags: The Texans are down to Matt Leinart. On the other hand, the Jags have only won 3 games. But! The Texans are #2 in rushing offense, and the Jags are middle of the pack in rushing D. If Matt Leinart just remembers "Hand off to Arian Foster!" things should still turn out OK for them. Texans.
Vikings at Falcons: Falcons. See below RE: Falcons are great at home and Adrian Peterson's gimpy.
Cardinals at Rams: Worst game of the week. Cards. Just because I have to give Fitz some love.
Panthers at Colts: If the Colts are going to win a game, this week is probably their best chance. So I'm predicting 0-16, since I'm calling Cam and the Cats.
Browns at Bengals: Both teams are on the rise, but I think the Bengals are further along the path. Look for them to bounce back from their loss to the Ravens last week with a big divisional win. Bengals.
Bills at Jets: Both of teams who, like the Eagles, had such high expectations pre/early season are reeling. And there are rumors that Mark Sanchez might be benched in favor of Mark Brunell (really? Mark Brunell? guess so). But I just can't see Rex Ryan suffering another loss. Not without bursting into flame. I'm calling Jets, but someone should probably keep a fire extinguisher handy.
Buccaneers at Titans: Matt Hasselbeck is fine, and the Titans should be, too. Titans.
Redskins at Seahawks: The Skins always show up for Dallas, but I don't necessarily expect that again this season. Seahawks.
Bears at Raiders: See above re: the Bears being in trouble. Caleb Hanie. They even tried to get Kyle Orton back. Ouch. Raiders.
Broncos at Chargers: I may be insane, but I'm calling the Broncos. The Chargers seem to be falling apart extra early this year, and Tim Tebow seems to have some kind of magical elixir that allows him to win games there's NO WAY he should. Hence: Broncos.
(The way I'm picking, this week is either the week I break out of the middle of the pack in my office pool to challenge for second place (the guy who's in first is so far ahead none of us will be able to catch him unless he opts out one week), or the week I blow it. If you're betting, I'd put money on "blow it.")
Steelers at Chiefs: So the Chiefs managed to snag Orton. Won't matter. They're toast. Steelers.
Giants at Saints: Who dat! Geaux Saints! Which will leave the Cowboys in sole possession of first place, but at this point, given schedules, they look most likely to win the NFC East anyway. Fortunately, they'll probably make their typical early exit from the playoffs, so I can go on to root for the Packers in peace.
Follow Elizabeth Engel on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ewengel